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tv   James Riddlesperger Lone Star Leaders  CSPAN  June 2, 2018 8:42pm-9:01pm EDT

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>> jim right for over 30 years. he then went on to teach at texas christian university. he's here on campus spoke with author james wood is better to learn about jim and other influential texans in congress. >> he was from fort worth although he grew up in a town west of here called weatherford. he served as mayor before running for congress in 1954 but probably served the people of fort worth for 30000 years in
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congress and made his home here after he left congress he did not stay in washington but moved back home and spent the last 20 years of his life teaching students at texas christian university. in a real sense the portrait represents jim, one the leader in congress and also appropriate placed right here in fort worth which he called home. lone star leaders was a project that my co-author and i undertook after we did a full-length study of the austin, boston connection which was the passing of power and house of representatives between representatives from boston and representatives from texas. it's a coalition that dominated politics in the us house of representatives from until 1989
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when jim wright left the speakership. it was an interesting project but in doing that we were going around texas and going through archives of many of the influential people were from texas and had served in congress during the 20th century. once that project was finished up we thought it would be wonderful to do a series of short pieces on many of the industry people who served from texas in congress both in house and the senate. lone star leaders gave portrait of 25 and the exact number is 26 people who served in congress from texas. we focused on the era between 19211989 because in 1931 he was elected speaker of the us house of representatives and was the first texan ever to chamber leadership positions in congress. it marked texas coming-of-age is a member of the united states
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union and during that period between 1931-1989 texas had an almost uninterrupted role as leadership in congress with salmon serving as from 1937 when he was elected as majority leader 21961 when he died and jim wright serving as majority leader from 1976 when he was elected majority leader until his resignation in 1999. in addition to that he served long periods of time as a chair of the provisions committee and chair of the judiciary committee chair of the banking committee and a variety of other roles. there were periods of time when there was as many as eight or nine texans who were the chairs of the standing committees in the house of representatives during the time when been chair was important. the fourth probably shown brightest during that era were [inaudible] was the first
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democrat to the speaker of the house after a period of long domination by the republican party. it brought democratic leadership to congress for the first time as a precursor to the new deal era and of course he used his election as speaker of the house in 1931 to pilot himself into being vice president a candidate for frank and roosevelt in the 1932 election. he worked hand in glove with frequent roosevelt for the first year of the roosevelt administration. roosevelt followed his capabilities did not have any experience in congress. connor had been in congress since 1903 and he was able to use his friendship and influence to usher which of the early new deal through congress. later as the new deal became more liberal from his perspective on her, a staunch conservative in a way, found himself more and more with president roosevelt and after
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the second term he abandoned the ticket and came back home to texas and his influence diminished greatly and never again went back to congress although as late as 1960 john kennedy visited garner in texas as part of his run for the presidency so garner was a major politics in the 1930s and beyond then came san rayburn. he was a protége in some ways of john garner and come to congress ten years later and he was on the interstate of the commerce committee and he used that position to gain influence and became friends with people across the country so that when the majority leadership opened up in 1937 and began to campaign
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for deposition event vice president helped him get elected as majority leader. it was his steppingstone to influence. then of course he became the dominant figure in house politics from 1937 until his death in 1961 and probably talked about the eight presidents of the united states with whom he served and he was careful to say he didn't serve under any but served with eight. very much aware of the separation of powers and the checks and balances between the two branches. his biggest influence was his mentorship of lyndon johnson. lyndon johnson came to the house in the 1930s and rayburn wondering and they almost had a father-son relationship. some days really pass without being at the johnson dinner
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table. he never married so you never family of his own was close to the johnson family and particularly loved lady bird johnson. johnson parlay that into that influence into becoming one of the young and the new deal notice by franklin roosevelt for his hard work and parlay that into his narrow -- became majority leader of the u.s. senate in his 40s at a time when he had only sold for relatively short period in the senate, something that was unusual at the time and parlay that majority leadership into being a candidate for president. although it was obviously a great blow to lose the nomination to john kennedy in 1960 the cancellation prize of the vice presidency was real and when kennedy was assassinated in
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1963 johnson becomes president. he is probably the longest and biggest lasting protége of sam rayburn. another protége of rayburn's was jim wright from here in fort worth. he was elected to congress in 1954 and served for many years in the public works committee but used his position as a member of the texas congressional delegation and a member of the public works committee to win a very narrow victory after the election of 1976 to be majority leader and part of his appeal was that jimmy carter had just been elected president of the united states and jim wright using his southern accent is greatest advantage said he like to be cut or spoke without an accent. he was elected majority leader where he served until typical meals election in 1986 and
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served one term in about half a second term as speaker of the house before his resignation in 1989. you have to look at the new deal. it was helped facilitated greatly by john garner early on in the texas delegation. there the impact they had -- toward the ends of the second term as vice president against the third term and and by people like [inaudible] from dallas was chair of the house judiciary committee and de facto killed president roosevelt's packing plant that you have morris shepard from texas was the leader of prohibition and in the 18th amendment and the t totaling methodist and you have joseph bailey in many ways is
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the father of the federal income tax coming out of the texas capital delegation. tom connolly is the chairman of senate foreign relations committee despite being a very conservative member from texas led the delegation from congress to san francisco when the united nations was formed after world war ii and you have a phone number who were influential and influential he was clearly in over his head and in the united states senate and you have people like charlie wilson used his position to essentially fund the surreptitious war in afghanistan that led to the fall of the soviet union so texans were involved in domestic politics and they had influence and perhaps a single incredible
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feat in legislative history in the united states is the funding of the manhattan project during world war ii leading up to world war ii. no one in congress you anything about the manhattan project and yet it was a huge item in the budget of the united states and a black marked item and congress year after year voted to fund the manhattan project based solely on the guarantee by sam rayburn that was in the public interest to do so. the credibility of the leadership and what an amazing difference from today. that is not the fault of the leaders today but certainly marks a different time rayburn thought it was so important to have a sense of shared interest in making policy.
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the problem that we have a society do not go away simply because we don't work with one another. it's so important for us to show leadership into understand that when you make policy often no one will be happy. one of the great insights that i got from jim wright in all the years that i knew here if you ever let a conference committee meeting and one side was happy and the other side unhappy you had made a bad deal. the only time that you had a successful conference committee report is when both sides were unhappy because that meant that for the greater good both sides had to give up something that was important to them into their core constituency. how different now from when we
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have people who do nothing but appeal to their base. they do nothing but appeal to the interest of their own constituent rather than the national interest. i think that is the thing that jim rayburn and jim wright during this era would miss most profoundly. >> twice a month the spanish city tours take book to be an american history to be on the road to explore the literary of a selected city. we visit various literary and historic sites and as we interview local historians, authors and leaders. you watch her past interviews and tours online by going to in selecting c-span city tour from the drop-down at the top of the page or by visiting these without or/cities tour. you can follow the tour on twitter or behind-the-scenes images in a video from our visits. the handle is at c-span cities.
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>> when donald trump iran for president and gave his inaugural address the theme was america is essentially a day or two away from the apocalypse but what i have found working at the experience of his first year historically was as follows. don trump was fortunate to take office when he did unlike abraham lincoln, he did not have to deal with the secession of the seven states between his election and his inauguration and unlike richard nixon he did not inherit a war in which more than half a million american soldiers were bogged down and unlike franklin roosevelt and barack obama he did not take the old of office in the midst of a massive financial crisis and although the world had its share of problems when it began they were ongoing, not new or urgent. the domestic economy had been growing slowly but steadily for all but one quarter of the previous six years.
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the annual rate of inflation was below 2% in the implement rate had dipped below 5% and the percentage of americans to regard themselves as middle or upper class have reached 62% and a greater share than before the 2008 financial crisis, the stock market was already booming and unlike all his recent republican predecessors donald trump took office with a republican congress. you look at it that way and donald trump was dealt a very good hand and honestly i am somebody who appreciates the significance of the tax cut bill that was enacted last month. when you step back and think what a presence been able to do in the past when they had a congress controlled by their party one major piece of undulation in for republicans in a tax-cut is like a six-inch
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pot. i think that history gives us a way of measuring not the rightness or wrongness but the scale of accompaniment. that is one thing that history, i think, gives us perspective on. another is this. when you think about the 70 years or so and the way in which we have chosen our presidents and the talent pool from which we have chosen our presidents and what you see is a trend of work which donald trump's election was the latest manifestation. think about this. during the quarter century roughly quarter century after world war ii the president's reelection not only had experience in government but high levels of government in
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washington. senators, vice presidents, general truman, eisenhower, kennedy, johnson, nixon, ford, every one of them had sort of build their careers not just government but in washington. no surprise there. this is what happened before this. began with the federal government was widely credited with licking the depression and being the access and americans had confidence in the federal government and along comes the vietnam war and along comes the watergate crisis. starting with jimmy carter's election in 1926 we, as a country, still want people with experience in government but not in washington. that was part of carter's appeal as was governor ronald reagan and governor bill clinton as it was governor george w. bush. we were expense people but we are not part of that mess in washington. if you take the next iteration of this trend is someone who comes along and says i have no spirits in washington and i have no experience in government and
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that's a reason to vote for me. that is where we are now and as people are looking ahead to 2020 in talking about mark zuckerberg or oprah winfrey we may have more to look for two in that way but it's a way that understanding trump did not drop out of the sky. there's been a long-term three quarters of a century long trend which he has most recent manifestation. >> you watch this and other programs online at the tv .org. [applause] >> thank you very much. i am david and i'm with the washington examiner. we're here to talk to brad todd and 28, the authors of a great revolt. it is one heck of a book employing both the kind of anecdotes that we tell you who voters are in what motivates them and the kind of data that can help you extrapolate from


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